Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jake Undone by Penelope Ward

Nina Kennedy was alive…but not living…until she met him.

Planes, trains, heights…you name it, Nina was afraid of it and led a sheltered life ruled by irrational fears and phobias. When she moves to Brooklyn for nursing school, that life is turned upside down, as she develops an intense but unwanted attraction to her gorgeous roommate, who’s pierced, tattooed and just happens to be the smartest person she’s ever met.

Behind Jake Green’s rough exterior and devilish smile, lies a heart of gold. He makes it his mission to change Nina’s outlook on life. When he agrees to tutor her, they forge a bet and the stakes are high as Jake forces Nina to face her demons. He just wasn’t expecting to fall hard for her in the process.

What Nina doesn’t realize, is that Jake has been living his own private hell. Once he drops a bombshell, will their love survive it?

Told in two parts from both Nina and Jake’s points of view, Jake Undone is a standalone story and a companion to the novel, Gemini.

This book is told in two parts/perspectives: Nina and Jake. I LOVE getting into the guy’s head during a book, and this fulfilled my need for it. I was sucked in during the prologue, which is told by Jake. I loved it, but then it left me feeling a bit confused when we switch over the Nina’s part in Chapter One. As I continued to read and find out that Jake has some sort of secret, the prologue started to make sense and I started guessing at what the big secret was. I was only partially right. You wanna know what it is??? You better read this book then, because I’m not going to tell you.

Nina is plagued with phobias. While in high school she got stuck in an elevator, and they blossomed from there. She just moved to Brooklyn to attend nursing school and is living with her brother’s best friend, Ryan, and his two roommates, Jake and Tarah. I loved Ryan. He is like a brother to her. He watches out for her and is there for her. By the end of the book, though, he does something that really upsets me and totally changed my view of him. Tarah is awesome; the two become best friends. She is a hairstylist and is always fixing Nina up and providing some much needed girl time and an ear to listen.

I thought Nina was a great character. Even with her phobias, she is strong. There is an underlying issue to her phobias, and when we learn about it, they make sense. She has some past regret when it comes to her brother, and it makes made me feel for her. It is because of him that she chose to become a nurse.

Jake, Jake, Jake… What can I say about Jake? Well, first off, he is hot. Tats, piercings, body…YUM! But underneath all that, he is sweet, funny, smart, caring, loyal… He starts leaving her these cute, funny notes. In time they become his way of expressing his feeling for her. In order to get closer to Nina, he offers to tutor her in math, her worst subject. However, in return, if she doesn’t make an A on her tests, he gets to help her face one fear at a time. I love how he helps her. He is there for her every step of the way and the two become best friends. However, he has a secret and he goes home to Boston every weekend. This secret is keeping them from acting on their feelings for each other.

Like I said, I really liked getting into his head. There is so much going on with him. The heartache he feels. The responsibility he has taken on is staggering. I am so, so, so happy that the author let us in. He is just an all-around great character. He has two sides, one he shows the world and his own private hell. He knows in order to be with Nina, he has to let her in on all the secrets. When all is revealed, he seems to lose it all. GAH! While I understood Nina’s reaction, I just wanted her to trust Jake. I kept pleading with her to just let it go and be with him. I became very protective of Jake.

I really like this book a lot. All the character, not just Jake and Nina, were great. The author really brought them all to life. It isn’t the most emotional book that I’ve read, but it satisfied my need for a bit of angst. This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new read.

Penelope Ward grew up in Boston with five older brothers. She spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career.

Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends.

She is the proud mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 7-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life. Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island.

1.  I am a coffee addict and living around the corner from a Starbucks has been a curse.

2.  I am deathly afraid of flying.

3.  If I could only choose one food and one drink, it would be Doritos and Coke.

4.  I used to watch a lot of television but have barely turned it on since starting my first novel in early 2013.

5.  My favorite movie is an Australian romantic comedy from the nineties called Muriel’s Wedding.

6.  I have a massive crush on Matt Bomer.

7.  In my twenties, I solo-anchored a two-hour morning newscast for a local NBC station for three years.

8.  My favorite book is Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson.

9.  Overall, I tend to enjoy books that make me nervous, with twists and turns that devastate me. The last book that did that was Arsen by Mia Asher.

10.  I have naturally curly hair, which I straighten as much as possible.

11.  My 9-year-old daughter has autism and I am going to try to incorporate autism in some small way into all of my books.

12.  I wasn’t going to originally write a book based on Jake from Gemini, but enough readers said they wished he had his own story. Thus, Jake Undone.

13.  I made my mother promise not to read my second book, so I could make the sex scenes hotter.

14.  I get most of my story ideas in the middle of the night after waking from strange dreams.

15.  I spend most weekends during the summer singing karaoke during barbecues in my friends’ backyard.

16.  I grew up in Boston and went to college there.

17.  I have been with my husband for seventeen years, married for eleven. We have nothing in common, but love each other anyway.

18.  I have diverse musical tastes. On my iPod, there is a mix of hip hop, R&B, broadway tunes, top 40 and music from the 60’s and 70’s.

19.  Although I would love to write full time, I have a day job working from home in customer service for an IT training company.

20.  I read every word of every single review written about my books and love hearing from readers.


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